One of the biggest fears I often get from ladies is how they may look too manly if they engage in some form of serious strength training which is unfounded of course. And I always point to them how the ladies I trained in the advanced strength training class were every bit looking like a lady. In fact, the strong ladies in the advanced class look fabulous. They would do exercises such as heavy kettlebell swings, bodyweight pull ups, double kettlebell front squats and deadlifts their bodyweight for sets of 5 reps. But I do demand they have to perform those heavy lifts with strict form and own the lifts and the weights they lift as it is necessary for safety and how it would develop true strength.
As a results of undergoing strength training, developing and performing strict lifting techniques and following a set program, not only do I notice massive increase in strength in the group but also how strength training with kettlebells, barbell and bodyweight can have such a positive impact on a female physiques and confidence.
And we have one girl named Frances who trained with us for awhile (I’m sure it is more than 2 years) who had made a massive difference to her body by not focusing too much of her look and weight on the scale but more on how she improved in her strength and overall fitness. In fact, her progress has come as a pleasant surprise because she initially came to Get Results PT not completely sold on the training but just wanting to try out kettlebell training. I remember when she first started training with us, she could not managed a single pull up and struggle to do a Turkish Get Up with 8kg.
Now, she can do things like 1 rep of 20kg kettlebell weighted pull up and Goblet Squats with a 40kg kettlebell for 5 reps with no problem. BTW, they’re no easy feats and guys may find them a challenge. She even won the Buns of Steel trophy in some dance competition. Seriously, if you have not focused on the strength side of fitness, you have missed out a great deal of benefits.
In November 2013, Frances underwent the highly vigorous 3-Day Perth StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor Certification and has attained her instructor Cert and now qualified to teach kettlebells. BTW, this Cert she has achieved requires much more than average fitness and demands high level of lifting techniques and strength. As a results of her dedicated training with kettlebell and training for strength, there is no doubt her body got way more ripped than before.
Here’s the interview right below that I did with Frances about how she benefited from the strength training and use of kettlebells. In this interview, she will share how she got so strong and how strength training help her shape up.
TC – How did You End Up Training at Get Results PT? Were you kind of skeptical about this whole kettlebell training? Were you even after kettlebell training?
Frances, SFG – I ended up at Get Results PT, after my partner Matt decided he was interested in doing Kettlebell training. I watched a few youtube videos of people performing kettlebell exercises and thought it looked interesting, so I said I would go along with him. Nothing too serious, just to see what it was all about.
TC -What benefits have you experienced from training at Get Results PT?
Frances, SFG – Improved posture, kettlebell has improved my posture drastically! I had rounded shoulders and slouched before I started KB training with TC. Other benefits are strength, increased muscle tone and confidence. I would have never thought I was able to achieve what I have in relation to strength.
TC – Have you tried other stuff or other training before? If you have, is there any difference in the approach of training? If there is, could you explain further?
Frances, SFG – I have tried various types of exercise before, mainly self motivated things like swimming & distance running. I was also learning Pole Dancing when I started doing Kettlebell and I kept getting the same injury in my group pole classes, which was frustrating me so I was looking for something new to try with a more individual approach.
The group training I attend with TC is very one on one, it’s like you have your own individual PT even though you are in a group class. TC breaks down every part of each group of exercises and you learn the very basics. TC’s knowledge of sport science and kettlebell programming means that he understands your body and where your weaknesses and strengths are. TC helps you understand what you need to do, so you can focus on gaining overall improved strength. This has worked for me, especially in terms of following TC’s programs.
What Do You Currently Do in terms of exercise wise to Stay in Shape?
Frances, SFG – At the moment I train 3 times a week (1/2 hr sessions) with the advanced KB group class. Once a week I do a one hour stretch & flex class at Bobbi’s Pole Studio which really really stretches everything out, helps my mobility and makes me feel great! I also train on my own a couple of times a week. I do one 10- 15 min swing/ squat session and the other is another half an hour strength session, designed by TC. I also try and do my program called ’6 min ABS’ each day because its so quick its easy to fit in and gets my heart rate up.
How do you feel about being getting stronger from strength training? (Mentally and any carryover effect to daily life?)
Frances, SFG – Personally, I love the feeling of achievement that getting stronger gives you. You can tick the weights that you conquer and ‘own’ off your mental checklist, and when you do and it feels like an achievement. I am training to become an Iron Maiden so my strength training at this stage has a particular application. For me having something to aim towards with my training (even if they’re small goals like getting one more pull up) helps keep me focused in all areas of life.
Strength is functional so the carryover effect in my daily life is that now my Mum calls me often to help her shift heavy things around. Haha.
TC – In terms of physical shape, have you notice any difference? In your opinion, was the number on the scale important in terms of gauging progress?
Frances, SFG – To me the number on the scale is not important, it is always how you feel. I am one of those people who tries not to weigh themselves often, I think that the only thing that is really helpful from scales is the body fat percentage.
I have definitely noticed a difference, I feel like I’m more lean and toned. I have gained more of a butt from squats which is always a good thing. My abs are more defined now, I can permanently see the top two of the six pack (even after Christmas) and most importantly, I actually stand up straight now!
TC -What are the things you have achieved? Did they actually occur to you possible right from the beginning?
Frances, SFG – Feeling as strong as I do, is definitely an achievement that I never thought possible. I never imagined being able to do pull ups, ever and now my PB is 13. I never in my wildest dreams thought I could go for a StrongFirst certification, pass the physical testing then start seriously thinking about the possibility of attempting the Iron Maiden.
TC How important do you think to learn and actually be able to perform exercise with good techniques on the impact of gaining strength?
Frances, SFG - Correct technique is very important to strength gain, you will never get stronger if your technique is bad. Learning new exercises is not just about your muscles gaining strength, it is about teaching the body new movement skill without stressing out the central nervous system. You need to understand and practice correct technique in order to get improved strength and avoid injury. I find for me personally there are always little things that I try and think about to improve my technique. Nobody is ever perfect, there is always room for improvement, even if they are only very minor adjustments.
TC – Did you think women should have any fear of training with heavy weights? (You know ladies are fearful of bulking up just from touching weights. LOL)
Frances, SFG – I think it’s so silly that some females have this fear that if they even look at heavy weights they are going to suddenly be engulfed by a gigantic set of traps and biceps that turn them into the hulk.
Training with heavy weights means increased muscle density, this does not mean you are going to suddenly get big. Yes, you will see increased muscle tone (but who doesn’t want that), it’s not going to be bulky mass. Females have to try very hard to bulk up, our bodies don’t respond to muscle gain in the same way male bodies do because we aren’t full of testosterone. If you want to lose fat, you must gain muscle which is where training with heavy weights comes in.
TC – What do you think about kettlebell as a tool to help women get into better shape and becoming stronger?
Frances, SFG I – I personally love how little time it takes to start seeing an improvement with kettlebell training, the fact that we train for half an hour sessions is great. Even for the busiest people there is no excuse. Kettlebell exercises are full body work outs, you are never just focusing on one part of your body you are thinking of your body as a whole.
TC -What would suggest to a person reading this and wanting to get in shape and actually get stronger?
Frances, SFG - If you decide to take up kettlebell training you are going to get stronger, guaranteed. With the gain in strength & replacing fat with muscle means you will be in better shape and will feel better, what’s not to love about that. Be warned though, KB training is addictive, be prepared to work hard but love your training sessions. You need to put in to get the results. There is no quick fix for getting in shape, you must be dedicated to making it part of your lifestyle.
TC – Thank you for reading this blog post. Okay here’s the video proof below that Frances did 13 strict pull ups and 2 reps with a 48kg kettlebell goblet squats.
BTW , if you live in Perth and looking to go from average fitness to seriously fit and strong or help with your StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor Cert preparation, Frances will be available at Get Results PT to show you the way. Remember Frances did not start out doing 13 strict pull ups or Goblet squatting the Beast. She did not even managed one pull up to start with. But she did go through the right training and understand what’s needed to be implemented in the training program to get you there. To contact Frances for training at Get Results PT, click on the yellow “REGISTER” button below.